Monday, 23 March 2009

BHA refute attack by Daily Mail

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If you picked up Saturday's Daily Mail (and let's face it, why wouldn't you?), you may have noticed an article entitled "How cash meant for promoting faith is going to an organisation that campaigns AGAINST Christianity", which suggested that a government grant given to the British Humanist Association (who we work closely with and, indeed, share our building with) had been used to fund an aggressive campaign against Christianity.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the article misrepresented the BHA in practically every sentence (i.e., the article was wrong, i.e. it was a shocking piece of journalism). In order to set the record straight, the BHA have put up a step-by-step refutation on their website. I recommend you read it – as well as being a a great example of how to deal with shoddy journalism, it's also an excellent guide to the tabloid art of fact-twisting.


nullifidian said...

Glad to see the BHA not just letting the cretinous eejits at The Daily Mail getting away with more Lying for Jesus™.

Sean Ellis said...

The lazy, self-serving journalism at the Daily Mail never ceases to amaze me. My wife buys it on a Saturday for two reasons: first, the TV paper is good, and second it's a handy first aid accessory to be used in the case of sudden low blood pressure. Just start reading, and bingo! Higher blood pressure guaranteed.

Kevin said...

Good luck with that correction.

While the guff coming out of the Tory's mouth is clearly garbage, it doesn't look like the journalist got much wrong.

Most if not all of the BHA's "corrections" look a bit like splitting hairs to me.

What's the difference between "guidance" and a report that makes "recommendations"? I don't think there is one.

And the BHA saying "These comments did not refer to Christianity’s ‘role’ in public life but to ‘some critical areas of continuing Christian privilege’" isn't really a "totally different claim", is it? It's just getting more specific.

While the Mail has certainly published a deliberately misleading hit-piece, the fact that it managed to do so with probably barely any factual inaccuracies suggests to me it's actually a remarkably good piece of tabloid journalism.

Lainey said...

Why is it that when people are attempting to get something tolerated or accepted in society, there are always a throng of people making accusations of "promoting" say, homosexuality, or atheism.

There's a massive difference between acceptance and promotion of an idea or way of life, but it seems to be something that convinces a lot of people, especially where sexuality is involved. I can't understand how saying "It's ok to be [something]" means that you are promoting it.